Technology is certainly important, but its excessive use can make children less creative and more isolated from reality. it is not so long ago that life was animated and impregnated by the art of making. We crafted tools, we knitted clothes, we seeded and harvested the land. We used our hands to write letters, to make furniture, to repair our homes. These acts enhanced the senses and boosted our well-being; but we are in danger of losing this vital source of well-being the more technology evolves – we risk becoming addicted to, and dependent on, technology.
Both children and adults are becoming increasingly accustomed to getting everything right away; they can quickly become impatient in the face of “time-consuming” processes that require workmanship, dedication and resilience. In this way, a distance is created between the child and the sensorial world, in which, as nature teaches us, “fruits” ripen slowly after seasons or years of watering and care. In particular, smartphones and tablets should be “administered” carefully because, among other things, they risk quashing creativity which, although innate, needs to be cultivated daily.
Preventing children from using this technology is not the solution – the Internet is now part of everyday life in schools and work environments. However, if children do not experiment with other forms of craft, the hyper-speed of the technology and network can provoke a sense of frustration in the face of slower processes, even at the expense of creativity. This might also have repercussions on their ability to accept disappointment, delays, hitches. So one of the benefit of doing activities that involve design and craft, is that it teaches children to develop patience, to endure small frustrations, and to take responsibility; in short, it nurtures tenacity and will.
So what should parents actually do? Discourage your children from spending too many hours with smartphones and tablets; offer equally inviting, but more tangible alternatives; give them the opportunities to engage with activities that require not only physical contact with the world, but the creativity, patience and determination to obtain a good result. This is exactly what we do in Sensing Space. We help parents. We collaborate with teachers. We encourage children to explore, create and grow.